Peck the Town Crier
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Peck the Town Crier

Band Hip Hop Jazz


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"Marin Independant Journal"

“When I first heard Peck, I felt a little like Mister Jones in Bob Dylan's ‘Ballad of a Thin Man.’ I knew something was happening, but I didn't know what.
The enigmatic Marin musician - who calls himself Peck the Town Crier - has a new independent album, "Groundhog's Day," his second CD….
I remained dumbfounded after watching one of his videos on YouTube. With a percussive harmonica soundtrack, he does a strange dance with a spear of pampas grass at the progressive Blue Rock School in New York.
In the comments section of the video, one viewer had the same reaction I did, writing: "I have never seen anything quite like this. I liked it."
I'm also intrigued by "Groundhog's Day," the new CD, even though I've never heard anything quite like it, either. It showcases Peck's story raps - on topics like James Brown, his grandfather, coffee, underwear, the joy of living - over eclectic musical tracks melding Brazilian percussion, P-Funk-era party jams, old school rock, boogie woogie, jazz, even marching band drumming - by some of Marin and the Bay Area's finest young musicians.”
-Paul Liberatore

- Marin Independant Journal

"East Bay Express"

Nate Seltenrich, East Bay Express
“Peck the Town Crier has waged war against predictability. Slowish raps tend toward spoken word and performance art, while low-key backing tracks tap into jazz, funk, bluegrass, marches, and more. Not everything works, but at least nothing is expected.”

- East Bay Express

“Hip hop, jazz, marching band, funk, blues –just some of the influences that come through on Groundhog’s Day, the new CD released by Peck the Town Crier. This album is overflowing with attitude arising from the mind of Chris Peck, whose lyrics are full of truth and humor. Eleven tracks that will open your mind and get your body moving are all connected through Peck’s engaging storytelling and rhythms. Peck celebrates the voice as instrument and explores new avenues of rhythmic counterpoint. Every track shines forth with originality...”


"Recorded at the famed Hyde St Studios in San Francisco, Groundhog’s Day blends Peck’s unique story-raps and verbiage with hand played instrumental arrangements that pull from the gambit of American music... It's a bit weird, a bit eccentric, but hey, it's what San Francisco is all about!”


"Round the Dial music blog"

Tom Hallett, “Round the Dial” music blog
“Kicking off with “Shout!”, Groundhog’s Day immediately establishes itself as a record jam-packed with positive, sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous lyrics, pounding, dedicated rhythm, and a backing outfit that creates the perfect aural setting for Peck's unique, mile-a-minute delivery: "Shout! Let it out! Let it go, let it go! I'm tellin' you just to let you know!!"

- Round The Dial, Tom Hallet

"North Bay Bohemian"

north bay bohemian
Peck the Town Crier a mystical soldier of writing new shit
By David Sason

With his shaggy hair and white-rimmed glasses, Chris Peck seems just another indie rock kid subscribing to the Weezer school of geek chic. Upon meeting him, it's hard to believe he's Peck the Town Crier, the local musician whose innovative hip-hop, jazz and funk fusion invades Bedrock Records on March 30 and Sweetwater Station on April 16. But when Peck opens his mouth, his enthusiastic and unpretentious mix of California and b-boy colloquialisms leaveno doubt of his artistic eccentricities. "I'm not really efficient at, like, spreading the word or marketing myself," he tells me, sipping his java, "but I am a mystical soldier of writing new shit."

As he speaks, I can't stop hearing his song "Coffee," where rhymes and plastic-soul croons are buoyed by a marching band drumbeat. "It turns my world around / Keeps me from sinking down / It turns from black to brown / You add a little cream / It's a whole new scene." While this tongue-in-cheek offering may recall Beck or Har Mar Superstar, Peck is less schticky and more organic. On his new album, Groundhog's Day , he brings a sincere, scholarly reverence to every style explored, from the be-bop of "Jump for Joy" and the soulful p-funk of "Underwear," to the honky-tonk of "The Widow and the Wasp" and cheerleader stomp of "Shout!"

"I call it hist-hop," he says of his music, "because we're pulling from all kinds of roots of weird old American music." His lyrics are just as eclectic, combining refreshingly positive affirmations with quaint stories. "Some songs are colorful little jokes that happen through hangin'," he says. "The fabric of 'the hang' ends up in my raps."

Peck the Town Crier is a phenomenon that could only have come from Marin, and it began with Peck learning guitar at the Saint Mark's School's fertile music curriculum, which was rife with rock-star parents. "I remember the drummer from Journey, Steve Smith, played with us in fifth grade," he says. "It was a face-melting experience." By the time he graduated from the Branson School, he'd already completed Your Tape Machine's Not Broken, recorded on a four-track reel-to-reel.

Through school shows and sitting in at the short-lived San Rafael club Jazzed, Peck became hooked on performing. "It was a way to shine and have an alter ego," he says. His current brand of eccentric theatricality features tear-away trousers and even a wall of clapping hands. "It was somewhat of a disaster onstage," he admits with a laugh, "but a charming disaster."

As a student at NYU, he was part of the jazz department, but a bout of severe tendonitis made him unable to play any instruments at all for weeks at a time. It proved serendipitous in the end. "I used to make my guitar sound good, and everything else was an afterthought," he says. "But when I couldn't play, I started turning into more of a composer, playing with all these musical Lego's instead of playing just one."

Nevertheless, California was calling him back, especially after one spring back home. "I met energy healers and people who grew weed and people who were into weird local music that I couldn't have heard in NewYork," he says, still sounding excited. "I got more music written here than I had in years. I went back to New York and said, 'As soonas I graduate, I'm moving back, and it's gonna be, like, on !'"

And it has been "on" ever since, with endless projects like "Le Chronique," an upcoming concert series in San Francisco that will utilize his improvisational jazz training to blend looping with live instrumentation. "I need to stay connected to the old ways, not something that is trumped up by the machine," Peck says. "I need to be part of the continuum of the really raging, aesthetically sharp shit."

Peck the Town Crier performs on Sunday, March 30, in a 'parking lot hoedown' at Bedrock Records, 2226 Fourth St., San Rafael. 2pm. Free. 415.258.9745. On Wednesday, April 16, he appears as part of the Comcast Battle of the Bands at the Sweetwater Station, 500 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur. 7pm. Free. 415.388.7769. - North Bay Bohemian


CD review: Peck The Town Crier, Groundhog’s Day (Self-released)

Rating: 4 out of 5 geetars

To 19-year-olds submerged in the indie rock world, Boogie Woogie isn’t a popular sound, but Chris Peck, AKA Peck The Town Crier, is bringing it, jazz and funk back to life in a hip way on Groundhog’s Day.

A few years back, while studying Jazz and Composition at NYU, Peck was diagnosed with tendonitis and forced to leave the guitar playing behind. But that allowed him to focus more on his spoken word/rap abilities. “I don’t have tendonitis of the tongue,” Peck said. “So it made me into an old-fashioned huckster.”

Sometime he rhymes slow, sometimes he rhymes quick, either way, Peck’s rap is staccato and precise. On the same tip, he’s just as good when firing out songs concerning social issues (”Shout!”) as he is when singing about bitches’ booty (”Underwear”). It’s an appreciated juxtaposition that makes Peck come across as a well-rounded individual who takes in all types of stimuli to make his music as interesting and tantalizing as possible. And, as mentioned, the insertion of Boogie Woogie (”The Widow & The Wasp”) adds an element of maturity and a knowledge of music that is light years beyond Top 40 B.S. -


Here's a list of Peck's self-released music. You can hear most of it in the discography at
-"You're Tape Machine's Not Broken", LP, 1997
-"Near and Dear", EP, 2000
-"the Death of Captain Myrage", EP/film score, 2002
-"the Garden Sings", LP, 2005
-"Groundhog's Day", LP, 2008
-"", a free download album, created by the Crymuscles, my collaborative band.
-"Home Phone", Peck's first vinyl EP, due in August 2010.



Peck the Town Crier is a musician and performance artist who divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

His output includes albums (“Groundhog’s Day”), video (“Underwear”) and live performance art.

After a 5 year stint in New York, studying Jazz and radical politics, Peck returned to the SF Bay, and honed his skills as an MC and performer.

Peck’s last full-length, Groundhog’s Day was gestated on the street. “I wrote all those raps on Thursday nights, at the corner of 16th & Mission,” Peck explains, “it’s cultural chaos, with poets, break dancers, homeless folks speaking their piece. There’s no microphone, and it’s hard to grab people’s attention. All of that album was forged in those fires.”

Peck’s music has appeared on, Current TV and on several Wall Street Journal shorts. “Underwear”, the lead single from Groundhog’s Day, is getting regular spins on Kpfa, Pirate cat radio, Kide, Kkup, Kcsb, Kalx, Kzsu. Other recent projects by Peck include Le Chronique, a free download album. It can be had at

This summer, Peck will release Home Phone, his first EP. He will also contribute two songs to Reach For the Sky, a Sky Saxon Tribute on GRA records.